Poll: Alabamians support infrastructure spending, but not fuel tax increase

Poll: Alabamians support infrastructure spending, but not fuel tax increase

(WAFF) - Lawmakers have floated the idea of a gas tax increase to pay for more infrastructure spending during this legislative session.

Last week, the Alabama Forestry Association polled 605 Alabamians about how they feel about the current state of Alabama’s roads and bridges. On Thursday, they released the respondents’ answers.

Nearly 86 percent of respondents agreed that Alabama needs to spend more money on infrastructure.

But a majority of respondents answered that they would not support increasing fuel taxes to pay for that. About 48 percent say they do not support a fuel tax increase, while 43 percent say they do. Similarly, a majority of respondents said they’d be less likely to vote for their legislator in 2022 if their legislator voted in favor of a gas tax increase.

Those answers may appear to contradict each other until examining the answers to another survey question.

The AFA asked respondents, in part: “What best represents your view of our State infrastructure needs?”

Nearly 59 percent of respondents mentioned either inefficient spending or ineffective planning, on the part of ALDOT and state leaders. That may explain why nearly 80 percent of people “strongly agreed” that any fuel tax increase legislation should include strict accountability measures.

One thing to note is that only 9 percent of respondents fell in the two lower age brackets of 18-29 and 30-39. The rest of respondents, 90 percent, fell in the four older age brackets, ranging from 40 years and up. AFA Communications Director Ashley Tiedt says they called registered voters who voted in the last three of four elections, and that’s why the respondents’ ages are skewed older.

Here are some results from the AFA poll:

  • 50 percent rated their road conditions as “fair.” 20 percent rated the roads/bridges as “good.” 25 percent said “poor."
  • 37 percent “agree” that Alabama needs to spend more money on infrastructure. 49 percent “strongly agree.”
  • 48 percent say no fuel tax increase. 45 percent said yes.
  • 55 percent say they would be willing to pay 3 cents more per gallon. 23 percent say 6 cents per gallon. 16 percent said they’d be willing to pay higher than that.
  • 37 percent say they’d be less likely to vote for legislators who voted to increases taxes. 32 percent say they’d be more likely to vote for them. 17 percent say it makes no difference.
  • Nearly 30 percent of respondents say ALDOT manages our existing tax revenue inefficiently.
  • Nearly 29 percent say elected leaders don’t have an effective plan in place to address needs.
  • 79 percent of respondents say they “strongly agree” that any fuel tax increase legislation should include strict accountability measures.

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